The Great Laptop Controversy of 2017 continues.
Three days after N.C. State coach Dave Doeren wanted an investigation into a laptop computer that was used on Clemson’s sideline during the Tigers’ 38-31 win over the Wolfpack, Tigers coach Dabo Swinney jabbed back.
Swinney, in his weekly news conference on Tuesday, made a joke about N.C. State defensive end Bradley Chubb’s towel-stealing antics and also said he was disappointed in Doeren’s accusation.
“I followed instructions to do some investigation, and it turns out there was just a major crisis going on,” Swinney said, according to ESPN.
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“A young guy trying to help a team in need and I think trying to be helpful in a situation, trying to get in touch with Amazon. We had a crisis – a dire need of towels.”
After the difficult loss on Saturday, Doeren said at the start of his news conference that he saw a picture of what looked like someone working for Clemson using a laptop on the sideline. Under NCAA rules, coaches can’t use computers, tablets or cell phones on the sidelines or in the press box.
The laptop in question, according to Clemson, belonged to a student who works for the team’s social media department. The ACC said it had noticed the laptop during the game and addressed the situation with Clemson then.
The towel joke by Swinney was a reference to Chubb, who repeatedly during the game stole the towel from Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant’s waist.
“I want to launch an investigation, too,” Swinney joked. “What do they do with those towels? Is it a towel wall thing?”
On a more serious note, Swinney was upset with Doeren’s remark about the laptop.
“It’s disappointing because that was kind of a challenge to our integrity,” Swinney said.
Swinney pointed out during the Tigers’ 56-41 win in Raleigh in 2015, N.C. State assistant Des Kitchings shoved Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson along the N.C. State sideline in the second half.
At the end of Saturday’s game, Clemson safety K’Von Wallace was pushed out of bounds after his game-sealing interception and someone on the N.C. State sideline tried to swipe the ball out of Wallace’s hands after the play as Wallace was celebrating the win.
“What if he breaks a finger?” Swinney said. “I think the investigation needs to be watching (Doeren’s) sideline and not worrying about ours.”
Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio